“Reality is not simply there, it must be searched and won,” wrote the German poet Paul Celan. In Spring 2015, The Anne Frank Center USA commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe, celebrating the liberation of the Nazi death camps, while also confronting the fact that history had been forever altered in devastating ways. This fall, we will reflect on – and search for - this new reality, addressing themes of return, remembrance, and restitution. In addition to our special exhibition, The Helpers of the Secret Annex, which is on view through December 2015, we will host programs exploring a range of topics, including the impact of war on children; the segregation and internment of US citizens during this turbulent period; and the enduring legacy of Anne Frank – from the publication of The Diary of a Young Girl to the hit Broadway play.
All commemorative events are free for Holocaust survivors and veterans
On view through December 30, 2015
A new exhibition designed in conjunction with the Anne Frank House
The Helpers of the Secret Annex
Exhibit can be viewed Tuesday – Saturday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Student and adult group tours available.
For more information, contact (212) 431-7993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
It was in many ways the nature of the job. Those who aided Jews and other targets of the Nazis during World War II often went unseen and unrecognized. The reason was simple. Helping these victims could have easily cost them their lives. In honor of these hidden heroes – on the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe – The Anne Frank Center USA is proud to host the North American premiere of The Helpers of the Secret Annex, a newly designed exhibition focusing on the brave individuals who provided food, clothes, medicine, and entertainment to Anne Frank and the seven other people hiding in The Secret Annex. Originally envisioned by The Anne Frank House, the exhibit has been newly designed for the gallery by Hixon Design Consultants, and offers North American viewers a rare glimpse into this critical time in history.
Zagreb, 1991. Ana Jurić is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital. But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood. Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills; soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire. Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Ana’s sense of safety starts to fray. When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world. Moving back and forth through time, Girl at War is an honest, generous, brilliantly written debut novel that illuminates how history shapes the individual.
Join us as we welcome Sara Nović to the Center for a discussion of her book, the impact of the war on one young girl, and its legacy on all of us.
Join us for a special reading and discussion with acclaimed National Book Award finalist, Jim Shepard. His new novel, The Book of Aron, joins the shortlist of classics about children caught up in the Holocaust, and was recently hailed as a “masterpiece” by The Washington Post. Aron, the narrator, is an engaging if peculiar and unhappy young boy whose family is driven by the Germans from the Polish countryside into Warsaw and slowly battered by deprivation, disease, and persecution. Inspiring, surprising, and always mesmerizing, The Book of Aron offers a truly unique child’s-eye view of one of history’s darkest moments. Anyone who hears Aron’s voice will remember it forever.
Scenes from the Diary is a condensed and insightful exploration of Anne and Peter’s relationship in the Secret Annex. Comprised of scenes from The Diary of Anne Frank (Goodrich and Hackett, 1955) and monologues from Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl, this performance will give audiences a better understanding of Anne and Peter’s dynamic relationship while in hiding in The Secret Annex. The AFC is delighted to welcome actor and director Steve Press, who will direct the performance and discuss his experience playing Peter in the original Broadway production of The Diary of Anne Frank in 1955.
A stirring testament to the strength of the human spirit and the power of music, Violins of Hope tells the remarkable stories of violins played by Jewish musicians during the Holocaust, and the Israeli violin maker dedicated to bringing these inspirational instruments back to life. Juxtaposing tales of individual violins with one man’s harrowing struggle to reconcile his own family’s history and the history of his people, music historian James A. Grymes’ 2014 National Jewish Book Award winning story provides a poignant and affecting look at the Holocaust and its enduring impact. Join Dr. Grymes as he shares the stories, with musical accompaniment, of these remarkable instruments.
As part of our Sapling Project we are thrilled to welcome Rabbi Sandy Sasso, author of Anne Frank and the Remembering Tree, co-published with the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, one of our 11 sapling sites. This beautiful picture book, told from the perspective of the tree itself, commemorates the majestic horse chestnut tree that once stood outside The Secret Annex, and tells the story of where the many saplings from the original tree found their new homes around the world. Join Rabbi Sasso for a reading and art workshop, followed by a discussion with Michael Bornstein, one of the youngest known survivors of Auschwitz. Michael and his daughter will talk about how his parents’ love and resourceful thinking – and some incredible twists of fate – led to his freedom. Seventy years after the war, Michael’s story is one of hope and optimism.
Suggested age: 8 and up
A Special Program to honor the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II
They were among the most heroic fighter pilots of World War II. The courageous and daring U.S. Red Tail squadrons destroyed 112 German planes in the air, another 150 on the ground, as well as hundreds of trains and trucks, and even a ship. While their bravery was the stuff of legends – and their devotion to their ¬country unquestionable – there was no heroes’ return for them after the war, because the pilots, more than 400 of them, were black. Recruited in Tuskegee, Alabama, they were organized into segregated squadrons by the U.S. Air Force. As part of this special program honoring the Tuskegee Airmen, we welcome former pilots and their families to speak about their experiences, and will host a screening of George Lucas’ 2011 documentary about the squadron, Double Victory.
In 1942, one year after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, ordering the relocation of all Americans of Japanese ancestry to internment camps in the interior of the United States. This action resulted in the forced relocation and incarceration of 127,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans for the duration of the war. Join Kermit Roosevelt III, the great-great-grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, and playwright Catherine Ladnier for a presentation of the legal and personal journey of Japanese Americans during this dark period in America. Roosevelt, professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Pennsylvania, will discuss his new novel, Allegiance, about the internment and the nation’s legal and political response. Afterward, Catherine Ladnier will chronicle the personal experience of camp internees through a dramatic performance.
Part of The Anne Frank Center’s Human Rights Film Series
The Anne Frank Center USA and the Dutch Consulate, New York are proud to present a series of Dutch films to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. These four films explore the lasting impact of the Holocaust on survivors and their children; notions of nationalism and accountability; and the enduring legacy of Anne Frank. Join us for intimate, in-depth Q & A’s with the directors, and an opportunity to see some of these important films prior their international release.
All films in Dutch with English subtitles
Don’t Lose Heart (Verlies Niet de Moed)
Director Hella de Jonge, 2014
A poignant documentary about the history of a family haunted by World War II. On the basis of archive material, documents left behind by her great-aunt, and stories told by her father, renowned journalist Eli Asser, Hella de Jonge reconstructs what happened to her family during, before and after the war. The Anne Frank Center USA is thrilled to be joined by the filmmaker for this special screening – the US premiere of this important new film.
Ben Ali Libi, Magician
Director Dirk Jan Roeleven, 2015
This new documentary chronicles the fate of the renowned magician Ben Ali Libi – the main character in an iconic poem by Dutch poet Willem Wilmink. On June 20, 1943, during a German raid in the south of Amsterdam, Ben Ali Libi was arrested with his family and sent to Westerbork transit camp, and from there to Sobibor. He was one of the 34,000 Dutch Jews who died there. Ben Ali Libi, Magician reconstructs his life, his successful career, and the first years of World War II – when he performed for Jewish prisoners in Dutch labor camps – through archival footage and captivating testimonies.
Secrets of War (Oorlogsgeheimen)
Director Dennis Bots, 2014
Set in 1943 against the backdrop of World War II, Secrets of War tells a story of youth thrust into an all-too-adult world, where the loyalties and betrayals of childhood have stakes higher than anyone could imagine. Conflict rages across Europe and the Nazis have occupied the Netherlands, but for twelve-year-old best friends Tuur and Lambert, not much seems to have changed: they still go to school each day, and still play “War” with their wooden guns in the forest and underground caves just outside their small village. But the realities of the conflict soon intrude on their familiar world, and jealousy sets in motion a series of events that will alter all three children’s lives. Both a gripping wartime drama and an affecting coming-of-age story, the film is a bittersweet ode to innocence lost.
Suggested age: 10 and up.
The Magic of The Diary of Anne Frank (De Magie van het Dagboek van Anne Frank)
Director Simonka de Jong, 2015
Why, after all these years, is the diary of a young girl still so important to so many people? Filmed in part on location at the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, and at The Anne Frank Center USA in New York, Dutch presenter Astrid Joosten travels the world to find out why Anne Frank’s diary still inspires hope. With heartfelt contributions from famous faces such as musician Gloria Estefan, UN Messenger of Peace Stevie Wonder, actress Whoopie Goldberg, NATO General Wesley Clark, and author Dan Brown – all people who have expressed a deep, personal connection with the diary of Anne Frank – this documentary looks closely at the enduring legacy of Anne Frank and how the words of a young girl have inspired so many in the years since her death.
Anne Frank as a Holocaust Icon
A book talk with Professor Oren Stier
Join Professor Oren Stier on a multimedia journey into some of the surprising ways the image and persona of Anne Frank have survived the Shoah, leading her to becoming one of the most notable icons of the Holocaust in the 21st century.Professor Stier’s new book Holocaust Icons: Symbolizing the Shoah in History and Memory provides insight into a veritable vocabulary of remembrance as he traces the lives and afterlives of certain remnants of the Holocaust and their ongoing impact today.